Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Council votes to protect cultural Moruya riverfront site

Public riverfront at Moruya’s north head has been formally recognised for its cultural and heritage values, with Eurobodalla Shire Councillors voting unanimously in favour of preserving the conservation site.

Mayor, Mathew Hatcher said the proposal was an honourable way to recognise and preserve Aboriginal cultural heritage at the site while encouraging ongoing public use.

“The Brierley homestead used to sit on the elevated land next to the boat ramp. The house is long gone now but we’ll be putting up some informative signs about that, and others explaining the significance of this area to Aboriginal people,” Mayor Hatcher said.

“Then, we’ll be revegetating some areas with culturally significant plants – maintaining native grass and bushland so traditional cultural activities can be practiced there.

“Outcomes like these are exactly how Council keeps the shire moving forward while acknowledging local Aboriginal people’s millennia-old relationship to land. The next stage is to amend the Local Environmental Plan to introduce this listing.”

Previous work by Council and others identified Moruya’s North Head and Garland Town as an area of significant Aboriginal heritage. The new heritage conservation area builds on previous work by Council while preparing its Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Study, various Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessments for the Moruya Airport redevelopment, and a heritage nomination report.

Mayor Hatcher said Council had since collaborated with the Aboriginal community to develop a landscape management plan for the area identifying traditional values while ensuring public access.

“There was an 18 month pause in the process – thanks to the fires, COVID, and sorry business – but we eventually had the documents finalised in June 2022 and now we’ve secured the funds to make it happen,” he said.

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